2018 was the year of an exhibition of the north. People visited Newcastle and Gateshead in their thousands to explore the industrial heritage of the past, present and future. It imbued people with a sense of the meaning of the former industrial powerhouses from the mills of Lancashire to the shipyards of the northeast. Now, there is further development, this time in Thornaby in North Yorkshire. Head Wrightson was once the industrial heart of the town manufacturing locomotives. A £32,000 grant was awarded recently for preserving Thornaby industrial heritage photography. It’s all thanks to lottery players allowing the HLF to support some amazing projects across the country.
About Preserving Thornaby Industrial Heritage
Libraries across Stockton Borough hold a large number of heritage images concerning the industrial past. The money will go towards digitising these images for an online portal so that anyone may enjoy and research them. Preserving Thornaby industrial heritage can now move to the next phase of the photos from the 1950s-1970s. What is most remarkable is that the photos are not just of work life, documenting the town’s industry. It also covers social events of employees including names, dates and locations. Not only is the £32k for digitising, it will also train volunteers administer the database.
Alan Simpson kindly donated the archive in 2012. He had been the company’s official photographer for many years. As this is just the recent past and in living memory for some former employees, it’s hoped it will enhance the local experience of Thornaby heritage. Such local projects depend on lottery players all over the country. HLF does, of course, fund big projects for nationally-recognised heritage but it’s also great for such local projects too. Local history groups have formed or expanded thanks to the scheme, and broadened their services to many more people.